Monday, October 24, 2011

tour guide


We had some good friends from Tennessee visit us this past week.  They were only here for a short time, so that meant some tough decisions had to be made.   What did I want them to see in Montreal, remember about Montreal, know about Montreal, experience in Montreal?  It was tempting to make a list of every significant sight to see and experience to be had and try to get through as many as possible, but I resisted.  Instead, I wanted my friends to experience what I knew to be the richness of life in Montreal.  This meant that we leisurely enjoyed the day, took time to eat desserts and drink yummy drinks, sauntered into small shops and wandered along the water, talked to strangers and took silly pictures, drove slowly along narrow streets, stood and marveled at beautiful structures and artwork, spent some time in contemplation at a religious site, enjoyed pleasant and meaningful conversation over dinner as savoury, Greek dishes appeared in succession at our table, and stood in the dark silence as we looked over the twinkling city from a vantage point on Mont Royal. 


When introducing people to something I love, it is never a good idea to force my ideas and agenda on them or try to cover every important angle or even expect that their experience will be my experience.  "Introducing" means that I help them connect.  After that, they are free to explore and enjoy at their own pace and in their own way.  In all my sauntering tours around Montreal with visitors over the years, I have always discover something new. 

When introducing people to the God I love, it is never a good idea to force my ideas and agenda on them or try to cover every doctrine or even expect that their experience will be my experience.  "Introducing" means that I help them connect.  After that, they are free to explore and enjoy at their own pace and in their own way.  In all my meandering discussions about God with friends and strangers over the years, I have always discovered something new.

 Photos: 
Top:  Part of the mosaic at the front of the sanctuary in Saint Joseph's Oratory. 
Middle:  Cakes at La Crème de la Crème Café in Old Montreal. 
Bottom:  The lights of Montreal from the lookout in Westmount.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"When introducing people to the God I love, it is never a good idea to force my ideas and agenda on them or try to cover every doctrine or even expect that their experience will be my experience. "Introducing" means that I help them connect. After that, they are free to explore and enjoy at their own pace and in their own way. In all my meandering discussions about God with friends and strangers over the years, I have always discovered something new."

This post addresses one of the primary distractions of protestantism to God's Kingdom: Christian exceptionalism, the myth that we know God, and the truth, and others don't.

My experience has been that in order to really connect with God and be present in the world I must constantly ask myself how others can reintroduce me to Him. The prospect of letting the other evangelize to me is scary. I might discover that I do not know God and truth as well as I think. I might discover that my world view is false. I might discover that other ways of being better incarnate the Christ.

Jesus came to destroy exceptionalism, not create it. He died for all. Yet it seems we have crafted a religion that systemically separates us from the world, from its material problems, while simultaneously convincing us that separation, exceptionalism, is a light on the hill, the answer.

-audio guy